Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Catching up on thought processes...

A lot of thinking has been going on, test shots, trying out ideas to see if they 'fit', discarding them because they didn't, discarding some because although the idea did fit, the images were not matching the expectation....then add to the mix the recent mixed weather...oh it has been fun ;o)

5th of June was our local cottage hospice fun day, I thought I might capture some interesting ideas then, but once again the clouds and the rain came, people went home and it was just too miserable to capture anything that was useful. Here are some of the shots taken, I wasn't pleased with some of them. Although I quite liked the one of the Dr Pepper bottle.
From the Hans Van Der Meer set The Landscape of Lower League 

Thinking along the lines of Hans Van Der Meer and his lower league teams I shot this of  local boys playing football. 

I used a low vantage point rather than a high one, the empty bottle is the main point of interest, showing the environment and how people just don't think before they dump rubbish. The boys appear small and insignificant but are important to the scene adding movement and corresponding colours. Could they have left the litter? Although not done intentionally this reminded me of the small figures in the landscapes by John Davies

Similar train of thought but with cricketers in the background.

Again I was experimenting with a low view point and wide angle to try and create a more dynamic image, the subject large in the foreground with the people in the background appearing small and insignificant, but there nonetheless. The exposure wasn't fantastic the weather still showing no signs of improvement, they were however useful in trying to work through ideas. The cricketers being in white made the image feel bland and drab, nor did they provide movement. No real contrast or other questions to ask, a non image really!

I liked Paul Grahams idea of  taking nothing in particular, just time passing. The St Johns with their arms folded are waiting for an accident (or not as the case maybe) The boys passing time playing football, people wandering aimlessly.....

The co-ordinating colours grabbed my eye, and the movement of the girl throwing balls at the Tin Can side stall.....

Cropped a bit too tight on the woman's head and I could have done with being a few more inches round to capture her writing, I wasn't fussed I chopped the man's head off, he wasn't needed ;o)

On Sunday I got caught in not one but two thunder storms! Ok, I know they had been forecast but the weather men don't always get it right, besides I dressed for the eventuality and hid between the showers!

I like being given a brief to work from, it helps to focus your mind, but then when the brief is quite loose that focus can wander. Reading a link recently posted to the flickr forum was quite interesting as it was echoing a few thoughts I had had recently, especially after completing some of the Art Photography sessions recently.

Has the Düsseldorf School killed photography?

The author speaks of being handed a blank sheet of paper and being told 'draw something' and what do we draw upon? Memories and accepted images. Memories and who we are affects what we shoot and how we shoot it. Someone who hates bananas will capture the offending fruit in a totally different way to how a banana lover would! Reading the article further there is a hypothetical project set about photographing 'my environment' and how easy is it to regurgitate the local ASDA car park.... do I get Brownie points that my set so far has none of that?

This was one of the issues I was encountering with my first assignment, how easy it would be to be lazy, to rapidly fire off shots of the local shops, a swing in the park, some litter in the gutter. (I know I have been there, seen that, done that bit as part of my Art Photography course) I wanted to take something that was slightly different but how?

What does make my locality different when so much of it is semi-detached suburbia, much like any other outer London Borough? I also wanted there to be some kind of theme running through the images, not only would it be of my area but with a link to each image. Initially I was going down the route of Metamorphosis, of how some places or objects have  a dual purpose, or were going through an obvious change but am struggling to find enough images that fit this personal remit. Some of the subjects I found  failed in the interest stakes, or at the photogenic stage. Not sure if that was their failing, mine, or a bit of both! Rain curtailing experimentation does not help!

When we went to see Paul Graham, and when reviewing other artists, it is interesting to note that it can be one image that suddenly provides a 'way in'. The theme on which to hang the rest of series. Once that is established you can look about for circumstances that echo your ideas, build upon it, and hopefully there will be enough material out there to end with a finished portfolio that not only meets the brief but also your own artistic intention.

Oddly, just a short way from the local high street we have a stables. This being quite a unique thing to find in an urban setting, made its way onto my hit list. After experimenting with angles and composition I ended up taking a shot of their sign for 'MANURE BRING A BAG' this then became my key; everyday, everywhere, wherever we go, whatever we do there are signs telling what to do, where to go, showing us the way, offering us services. These signs, though some are generic, will be unique to a specific location, even a road sign telling you the mileage will alter a mile down the road. So........if all goes according to plan My Local Neighbourhood will have a sub-heading of 'Signs of Life' or something similar.......or maybe not if it all goes awry....Possibly at this point also another thought which hadn't made it to the front of my brain yet was the contrast between green spaces and urban.

Another low viewpoint, after taking images of the horses, I saw the sign and shot that, thought it could be something slightly unusual although I may return to improve the composition slightly.

Same day out, yes it rained again, I explored the bus shelter with reflections and grafitti, interesting but I thought too messy. Stephen Shore loved his posts n poles ;o)

I've been out on over 10 different days, sometimes 2/3 quick jaunts out on those days to different areas. All still within 5 minutes drive or a quick walk from my front door. Sometimes I knew the vague area I wanted to capture and saw an opportunity once there, others I saw in passing and made a mental note to return. Some of these ideas worked, some didn't some worked as images but not on the right track to be included in the final set. I do have some images that I could include but am still groping about and seeing if anything else turns up trumps to replace a current selected shot. Although I know the area switches from leafy green to housing estate really quickly it has been fascinating to capture the diversity.

PwDP Ass1 Folders

Professional Photographer (2011) Has the Dusseldorf school killed photography? [online]. Professional Photographer Magazine. Available from: [Accessed 22 June 2011]

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